Five Points Blog

A Complete Atonement

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:54-57

Christ has removed the law in this sense, that he has completely satisfied it. The law demands a perfect righteousness; Christ says, “Law, thou hast it; find fault with me; I am the sinner’s substitute; have I not kept thy commandments? Wherein have I violated thy statutes?” “Come here, my beloved,” he says, and then he cries to Justice, “Find a fault in this man; I have put my robe upon him; I have washed him in my blood; I have cleansed him from his sin. All the past is gone; as for the future, I have secured it by sanctification; as for the penalty, I have borne it myself; at one tremendous draught of love I have drunk that man’s destruction dry; I have borne what he should have suffered; I have endured the agonies he ought to have endured. Justice, have I not satisfied thee? Did I not say upon the tree, and didst thou not coincide with it, ‘It is finished; it is finished?’ Have I not made so complete an atonement that there is now no need for that man to die and expiate his guilt? Do I not complete the perfect righteousness of this poor, once condemned, but now justified spirit?” “Yes” saith Justice, “I am well satisfied, and even more content, if possible, than if the sinner had brought a spotless righteousness of his own.” And now, what saith the Christian after this? Boldly he comes to the realms of death, and entering the gates there, he cries, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” And when he had said it, the dragon drops his sting. He descends into the grave; he passes by the place where fiends lie down in fetters of iron; he sees their chains, and looks into the dungeon where they dwell, and as he passes by the prison door, he shouts, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” They growl and bite their iron bonds, and hiss in secret, but they cannot lay aught to his charge. Now see him mount aloft. He approaches God’s heaven, he come against the gates, and Faith still triumphantly shouts, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” And a voice comes from within: “Not Christ, for he hath died; not God, for he hath justified.” Received by Jesus, Faith enters heaven, and again she cries, “Who even here amongst the spotless and ransomed, shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” Now the law is satisfied, sin is gone; and now surely we need not fear the sting of the dragon, but we may say, as Paul did, when he rose into the majesty of poetry... “O grave, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?”

~ Charles Spurgeon

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